Visualizing your Wellness Goals into Fruition

Our mind can be an incredibly powerful tool, so it is not surprising that it can help support our journey to feeling our best physically, mentally and emotionally. Visualization is one of many tools in our mindset toolbox. It can help us get clear on our overall goals all while building our confidence, resilience and motivation for our wellness journey.

Our brains, although they are unimaginably intricate and are capable of remarkable things, they can not differentiate between our thoughts and our actual experiences. That means when you’re daydreaming about how incredible you feel and how fulfilling your life is because of it, you are stimulating the same parts of your brain and releasing the same neurochemicals as if you were truly experiencing that positive scenario. So our thoughts alone can produce a positive visceral response in our body.

In additional to this immediate neurochemical boost, visualization can also have a longer term impact as well. Visualization helps to create new neural networks in your brain which can result in new beliefs and actions in the future.

For such a profound effect, the process of visualization is quite simple. Think of it as an intentional form of daydreaming. You want to conjure up a variety of mental images of you not only achieving the goals as you have set, but also images of you actually in the process of moving towards these goals. You want to envision yourself sticking to all of the healthy habits you set, whether that means getting up 15 minutes earlier to stretch and have some mindful moments before getting after the day or setting aside time on Sunday to create a pile of healthy meals to take you through your week. It is really as easy as it sounds.

Here are some tips to help your visualization practise to be as impactful as possible.

Create a clear goal. Before you even start visualizing, you want to be clear on what exactly you want. Get specific on what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it, when you want to achieve. Once you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, think about what situations can you envision along that journey.

Envision in as much detail as possible. You want to create a vision with as much vivid detail as possible. Go beyond simply thinking about what you are doing and also include things like where you are, who you are there with, what are you wearing and how you are feeling. This helps to enhance the reality and relatability of the visualization to help elicit the responses you are looking for.

Engage all your senses. Think about what you would actually be seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and even tasting. Similar to adding in extra details, this helps make your visualizations more real and relatable.

Incorporate obstacles. Not everything goes according to plan all of the time, so envision your goals going askew and how you adapt and overcome the obstacles. For instance, maybe you planned to go do your favourite spin class and made sure your partner was able to watch the kids, but a work emergency comes up for your partner and they are unable to watch the kids at that time. Envision yourself staying calm and figuring out a way to move your body that involves your kiddos, maybe a walk around the neighbourhood or an impromptu dance party. This can not only help you identify possible challenges and how to deal with them, but it also boosts your self-efficacy so you know you can handle what is thrown your way.

So go ahead, start dreaming up that ideal life and your incredible wellness journey.

Although visualization can have an incredible positive impact, be aware of the unintended outcomes it can have. If our brain can’t distinguish between imagination and reality, we need to be mindful of our negative thoughts. If we are ruminating on the past or worrying about the future, to our brain and our body, it is as if you are truly living and reliving those experiences. So be mindful of what is occupying your head.

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